Afghanistan, Still Losing the War, Part 11

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Unionist

[url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20081226.wafghansoldi... of Afghan villagers demonstrate to show their hatred of the U.S. and Canadian occupiers[/url]

Quote:
The man believed responsible for the earlier bombings [which killed 6 Canadians], known as Shahir Sahib, died earlier in the day as U.S. forces swept into compounds further west of the city during an overnight raid in Maywand district, according to a military statement.

"Canadian intelligence operators played a key role in developing leads and information that led to the conduct of this operation," the statement said.

But the raid ignited an angry protest on the main highway later in the afternoon, with local villagers burning tires and blocking the road for three hours, claiming that innocent people were killed in the attack. They also protested against the disappearance of a woman who they mistakenly believed had been detained. The crowd later dispersed after tribal elders explained that the woman had only been taken away for medical treatment.

At one point, witnesses described the unruly mob swelling into a crowd of hundreds and preparing to charge the heavily guarded barricades of Maywand District Centre, the main government outpost in the rebellious district.

Ustad Abdul Halim, an influential tribal leader, said Kandahar's governor and intelligence chief called him half a dozen times, urgently asking him to help stop the unrest.

The chain-smoking former mujahedeen commander summarized the chaotic events with a simple phrase: "It's a very bloody day."

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

[url=Obama">http://www.dissidentvoice.org/2008/12/obama-and-the-graveyard-of-empires... and the Graveyard of Empires[/url]
by Gary Leupp, December 27th, 2008

[excerpts]

Quote:
Joint Chief of Staff Chairman Mike Mullen is reportedly recommending to President-Elect Obama that the U.S. increase by 30,000 its current force of 32,000 in Afghanistan. That, as Robert Dreyfuss points out in a recent column, is about 20,000 more troops than Obama was proposing while on the campaign trail.

Obama, who has enthused about refocusing the War on Terror back on Afghanistan, is likely to accede to the admiral's request. There are at present under NATO command approximately 31,000 non-U.S. troops within the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) fighting the Taliban and other "insurgents" in Afghanistan. (80% of these are from from the UK, Germany, France, Canada, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Australia, and Turkey.) Popular opinion in most of those countries runs high against continued deployment...

Add to these the redoubled U.S. force and we'll have a have a robust occupation army of 93,000 foreigners. With the exception of Albania and Azerbaijan, which have sent only small contingents, all participating nations are historically Christian, encouraging the Afghan perception that their Muslim nation is under infidel attack....

Does Obama, often described as lacking knowledge of foreign affairs, and praised (by all the wrong people) for reaching out to (all the wrong) "experienced" foreign policy wonks, really believe that he can succeed in Afghanistan where so many others have failed?

Here perhaps we find the audacity of sheer historical ignorance. The audacity of hope that "Yes, we can"-with a center-right Democratic administration, better than a far-right Republican administration-sufficiently stabilize Afghanistan to achieve the primary U.S. (imperialist) objectives in the region.

Obama seems to believe that the U.S. can defeat those resisting the foreign presence and its local allies, stabilize the thoroughly corrupt Northern Alliance warlord regime with Hamid Karzai as its symbolic head, and stem the flow of Taliban back and forth across the Pakistan border. Most importantly, it can finally get that oil pipeline done-the one that's to run from the Caspian Sea through Turkmenistan and Afghanistan, Pakistan and India to the Indian Ocean bypassing Russia and unfriendly Iran. The deal was signed in December 2002 but construction has been stymied by the situation on the ground in Afghanistan. That pipeline is, I believe, the big prize.

The war on Iraq has been in my opinion less "a war for oil" actually promoted by Big Oil than a war engineered by neoconservative ideologues to reconfigure Southwest Asia for long-term U.S. and Israeli geopolitical advantage. But it's, in fact, been disastrous for the interests of U.S. imperialism, and bitterly divided the ruling class. It's produced the highly unusual situation where one faction of that class has bet its money on an African-American named Barack Hussein Obama...

In the view of the faction of hawks Obama represents, the Iraq War has been a colossal distraction from the Afghan War. The problem isn't just that Bush diverted troops to Iraq "before we got bin Laden" or wiped out all the remnants of al-Qaeda, a group notoriously difficult to quantify or even define. The problem is that he used 9-11 for one purpose rather than another. He used the toppling of the Taliban to segue into Iraq rather than to rigorously pursue the agenda for U.S. hegemony over Central Asia centering around control of Caspian Sea oil and gas.

Obama presumably wants to go back in in force and do Afghanistan properly. That doesn't necessarily mean wiping out the Taliban mentality that (say) requires women to wear burqas (that mentality is, after all, pre-Taliban and not so different from the mentality prevalent in societies such as Saudi Arabia whose governments are pro-U.S.). The U.S. and ISAF don't need to produce a social revolution to maintain permanent bases (encircling China) or to construct and protect a pipeline providing privileged access to oil and natural gas. All they need to do is maintaining a puppet regime with minimal authority and establish a sufficient level of stability to attain such objectives....

By the way: Afghanistan is scheduled to hold a presidential election in October 2009, and Afghan-American neocon politician Zalmay Khalilzad, one-time UNOCAL executive, Afghan kingmaker in 2002, former ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq and the UN, may well be a candidate.

 

 

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Webgear

Two Canadian soldiers have died in Afghanistan after a bomb exploded west of Kandahar city. An Afghan policeman and interpreter were also killed in the blast.

The military has identified the slain soldiers as:

• Warrant Officer Gaeten Joseph Roberge, a member of the Royal 22nd Regiment who was serving with the Irish Regiment of Canada in Sudbury, Ont. He was serving in Afghanistan to help train the country's national police force.

• Sgt. Greg John Kruse from the 24 Field Squadron, 2 Combat Engineer Regiment based in Petawawa, Ont. He was serving as a member of 3rd Battalion of the Royal Canadian Regiment battle group.


They had been conducting security operations in the volatile Panjwaii district, where Canadians have repeatedly fought against Taliban gunmen.

 

ttp://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20081228/afghanistan_soldie...

Webgear

Another double post

 

Realigned

RIP to the deceased soldiers and local's.

Unionist

I hate to repeat myself, but else do you do when history repeats itself within 24 hours:

Unionist, amended to reflect today's kill count wrote:

That makes seven (7) killed by roadside bombs this month alone.

Two conclusions:

1. It's clear now, as suspected by babblers, that troops were kept
close to base during the election campaign and its immediate aftermath,
to make Harper look good and keep Afghanistan off the political radar.
Now it's back to killing cannon fodder as usual.

2. The Canadians, after 7 years in the country and half that time in
Kandahar, have no clue and no connection with the locals. They know how
to dial-an-air-strike, but they can't monitor the planting of IEDs nor
detect them once they're there. It obviously isn't a DND spending
priority.

Now, for those who are forgetful, it is important to understand that the insurgents are merely making up for lost time. The Taliban had warned they would [url=http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2008/09/09/taliban-election.html]step up attacks during the Canadian election campaign[/url]. Harper, whose deep feeling for human beings is near legendary, decided to order a halt to normal patrols to reduce the kill count until he was safely back in power.

Here's what the Taliban said at the time:

Quote:

Taliban spokesman Qari Muhammad Yussef said Tuesday the insurgent
movement wants Canada's next prime minister to pull Canadian troops out
of Afghanistan.

"Yes, I know that the election is being held in Canada. That is why
our attacks on Canadians are increased," Yussef said through a
translator.

"One of the Canadian soldiers, who has won a medal as well, was killed in our recent attacks."

Sgt. Scott Shipway died Sunday when his armoured vehicle struck an
improvised explosive device in the volatile Panjwaii district of
Kandahar. ...

Yussef said he's familiar with Prime Minister Stephen Harper but
isn't sure about the other candidates or parties running in the
Canadian election.

While he doesn't know which party is most likely to withdraw
Canadian troops from Afghanistan, Yussef said such a platform will be
"good for that party and for their nation and for the Canadian people.

"My suggestion for the next prime minister is to withdraw Canadians
from Afghanistan," he said, adding Canada needs to stop following U.S.
foreign policy.

"When any of these party leaders come to power, the first thing they
must do is ask the Canadians to come from Afghanistan to Canada."

 

 

 

Webgear

Can you please provide a detailed analysis behind conclusions? I am very interested in seeing how you have drawn your two conclusions?

 

 

Unionist

No problem.

Unionist wrote:
1. It's clear now, as suspected by babblers, that troops were kept close to base during the election campaign and its immediate aftermath, to make Harper look good and keep Afghanistan off the political radar.

I'm sure you're more familiar with the sad statistics than I am, Webgear.

Sergeant Prescott Shipway (2nd Princess Pat's) was killed by an IED on September 7. Two days later (September 9), Qari Mohammed Yusuf bragged about having killed a medal recipient, saying they would step up attacks on account of the election campaign.

Listen up. There were no further deaths reported until Corporal McLaren and Private Diplaros were killed by an IED on December 5.

That makes 89 days between consecutive fatalities - the longest such gap since the first fatality of 2007.

The closest runner-up was the 54-day gap between the killing of Cpl. Nathan Hornburg (Sept. 24, 2007) and Cpl. Nicolas Beauchamp and Pte. Michel Lévesque (Nov. 17, 2007).

And now, IED deaths have resumed their usual pace, and then some.

Now I'm not privy to any internal CF commands and tactical thinking - I just observe results. Three possible hypotheses:

1. The Taliban announced they would step up attacks - but they lied, and decided to give Stephen Harper a much-needed respite during the campaign and its aftermath.

2. Canadian troops were struck by sudden brilliance during this 89-day period and figured out how to prevent, detect, and disable IEDs - and promptly forgot again at the beginning of December.

3. Road patrols were radically reduced during that whole period out of fear that the Taliban were telling the truth and that massive IED casualties were in store during and after the election - thus embarrassing SH, the enlisted man's best buddy.

4. Coincidence and sheer good luck.

Well, Webgear, I've concluded that Hypothesis #3 is the most likely one. But I would certainly appreciate your inside knowledge and expertise in providing evidence pointing to any other explanation of what happened.

Now to Conclusion #2:

Unionist wrote:
2. The Canadians, after 7 years in the country and half that time in Kandahar, have no clue and no connection with the locals. They know how to dial-an-air-strike, but they can't monitor the planting of IEDs nor detect them once they're there. It obviously isn't a DND spending priority.

Sorry, Webgear, this one is too obvious to require evidence. You tell me why they keep walking and driving down the road and getting blown to smithereens, if not the clear fact that the insurgents can strike any time and any where they want. Neither informants nor detection technology are adequate to make a dent. Of course, CF lying spokespersons will say, "Yeah, but we detect 10 million IEDs for every one that goes off!" Why do the words "fog of war" spring to mind?

Webgear

Unionist

I believe you are wrong about the longest period between deaths, there was 99 days between Cpl Storm's death (27 Nov 06) and Cpl Megeney's death (06 Mar 07) (which was not a combat related death) the next combat related death was of Sgt Lucas and his crew (08 Apr 07) which is 131 days. This was at the highlight of Canadian operations in the province

There are no indications of any decrease of Taliban activity in Kandahar province from any organization (Government or NGO), in fact activity has likely increased slightly for this time of year.

There are also no indications of reduced operations during the election period, in fact several major operations did take place during the election timeframe. There were several operations in western Zhari, Panjwayi and Argandab districts.

If there were reduced road movements, how did Forward Operations Bases get resupplied? How were the previous mentioned operations carried out?

How do monitor every road in a province the size of Kandahar with a two battalion size organizations? It is impossible to locate every IED, even the local police are hitting IEDs on a regular basis, and this is their own backyard. I think you are being to simplistic in your conclusion that every IED can be stopped.

There was also a troop rotation in September, historically this is were a majority of deaths and injuries take place because the new soldiers are getting familiar with the ground and the enemy. The month of December was just a bad month for Canadian soldiers, this happens in war.

Of course insurgents can strike anywhere at anytime, this is there strong point. If the insurgency was strong, there would be more deaths of NATO/Afghan soldiers and police, this is not currently a popular insurgency compared to previous wars in Afghanistan.

http://www.icasualties.org/OEF/byNationality.aspx?hndQry=Canada

 


 

Webgear

The Taliban are always promising an escalation of activity every few months, usually before and after the crop planting, harvesting seasons.

 

Of course they have freedom of movement, they are insurgents, they are not moving in large military style of organizations in parade formations. They are moving as in small groups, without weapons and indistinguishable from other Afghans.

Maybe the reason for the three months of no deaths, which may include the following activities:

a. Ramadan and Eid ul-Fitr
b. Harvesting of several crops (grapes, poppy and marijuana)
c. The start of the winter season
d. Increase of American troops into Maywand District
e. Military operations carried out by British in Helmand province
f. Leadership meetings in Pakistan

Historically insurgents move into urban areas in the winter months for better access to supplies, lodgings and transport routes.

Unionist

Webgear wrote:
Unionist

I believe you are wrong about the longest period between deaths, there was 99 days between Cpl Storm's death (27 Nov 06) and Cpl Megeney's death (06 Mar 07) (which was not a combat related death) the next combat related death was of Sgt Lucas and his crew (08 Apr 07) which is 131 days.

Webgear, please read my post more carefully:

Unionist wrote:
That makes 89 days between consecutive fatalities - the longest such gap since the first fatality of 2007.

I started my count with the death of Cpl Megeney on March 6, 2007, so your first point is inaccurate.

If, however, you choose to begin the count with "the first combat-related death of 2007" - which I agree was April 8, 2007 - then the latest 89-day gap is still, by far, the longest fatality-free one in the past 20 months. It makes little sense to go back to earlier periods, when the dynamics were different.

All your other points are valid, but you still offer no explanation for a 3-month gap in fatalities - immediately after the Taliban promised an escalation during the election campaign. You may not like my explanation, but the laws of statistics alone cry out for an alternative one.

As to whether this is a "popular insurgency" or not, I refer you to the multiple reports (not by lying military commanders, but by international organizations) which claim for some strange reason that the insurgency commands the vast majority of Afghanistan's territory and has freedom of movement and action there. You're quite right in saying it's not "currently" comparable to previous insurgencies. But you tell me whether the insurgents are getter stronger or weaker, and we'll both see what the future brings.

 

 

Fidel

Webgear wrote:
Unionist

I believe you are wrong about the longest period between deaths, there was 99 days between Cpl Storm's death (27 Nov 06) and Cpl Megeney's death (06 Mar 07) (which was not a combat related death)

It was a job-related death, which would not have happened had our weak and ineffective stoogeocrats not volunteered him to a Crazy George-led combat mission in the Stan.

Realigned

Webgear wrote:
Can you please provide a detailed analysis behind conclusions? I am very interested in seeing how you have drawn your two conclusions?

 

 

Hey Webgear

Those conclusions (Mentioned by Unionist) are wrong, pure and simple.

Someone can play around with the numbers and say it's been X amount of days since someone was killed and try and constrew it in such a way to indicate the Taliban havn't been attacking OR Canadians have been hiding inside bases but the truth is Canadians have not changed their patrol matrix to hide during elections. The number of patrols going out hasn't changed nor has the activity, truth be told we've even done ops during the election period, definatly not hiding.

As for the IEDs, why havn't Canadians been killed in X number of days? I can tell you for a fact it's not due to lack of trying on the Taliban's part. Dozens of IEDs are found every month and detonated by friendly forces. A smaller percent of those total number of IEDs are not found and detonate against targets. Some of the targets are NATO, some are Afghan police and Army. Sometimes they get us, often they don't.

The thing is, in 2006 when shit hit the fan every IED was reported in the news. Now it's not a "big deal" media wise. We had an IED hit our platoon not too long ago on the road and nothing was said in the news. I've seen IEDs take out Afghan army members or Police officers and it doesn't get mentioned in the news. The only thign that gets mentioned is Canadian deaths.

Why all of a sudden did we just loose 9 guys when there was a lull? Number of reasons. Bigger IEDs, different tactics and shit luck. But like I said, it's not for lack of trying the whole time. I was reading up on the statistics the other day. While some detonate and ruin our vehicles and injure or kill our soldiers, a few dozen are found each month and safely detonated. It's shocking the amount of IEDs we find trust me. We've had a few hit us with no injuries, someone could just have easily died.

The theory that the Taliban stopped the attacks for a certain period and are just starting up again because some Taliban boogyman says so might sound plausable but it's completely wrong- there are just as many IEDs, we're having an unlucky month.

Quote:

There are also no indications of reduced operations during the election
period, in fact several major operations did take place during the
election timeframe. There were several operations in western Zhari,
Panjwayi and Argandab districts.

If there were reduced road movements, how did Forward Operations
Bases get resupplied? How were the previous mentioned operations
carried out?

How do monitor every road in a province the size of Kandahar with a
two battalion size organizations? It is impossible to locate every IED,
even the local police are hitting IEDs on a regular basis, and this is
their own backyard. I think you are being to simplistic in your
conclusion that every IED can be stopped.

Exactly. You're 100% right.

 

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Quote:
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — Blame bad luck for the deaths of nine Canadian
soldiers in southern Afghanistan this month, say military officials at
Kandahar Airfield.

 Just a bit of bad luck

 

Webgear

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/560193

 

"Canadian military investigators in Afghanistan are probing allegations of "inappropriate conduct" surrounding the death in October of a presumed Taliban insurgent.

Canadian Forces Col. Jamie Cade made the announcement Wednesday during a short and hastily called news conference.

Cade said he learned Dec. 27 of the allegations, which involve a death that took place "on or about" Oct. 19 in Helmand province.

"The Canadian Forces National Investigation Service has launched an investigation into these allegations, and to determine whether proper reporting procedures were followed," Cade said.

"The Canadian Forces takes such allegations very seriously. As an investigation is ongoing, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time."

The bulk of Canada's troops are deployed in Kandahar province, which is adjacent to Helmand – a part of the country that's largely the domain of British forces.

No further details were released."

Unionist

What a hilarious news item. In a "hastily called news conference", our hapless Col. Cade urgently announces that the CFNIS is investigating something, but of course we can't say what.

Why don't they just do their investigation and announce the results - or not, if there are no results?

There must be some motive behind this non-story. Probably just some psy-ops to make our murderous mission look as if it cares about wrongdoing. 

Webgear

Hey, you have to give them credit for giving thier news statement out faster than the NDPs position on Gaza.

 

 

 

Unionist

Here's the funniest part:

Quote:
"The Canadian Forces takes such allegations very seriously."

And then, he refuses to say what the allegations are!

 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

What are Canadians doing in Helmand anyway?

Is this a secret mission? 

What is "inappropriate conduct"? Obviously, killing a "presumed Taliban insurgent" is not considered inappropriate.

So what is? was it torture? a torrid clandestine love affair? failing to fill out a casualty report in triplicate?  

 

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Webgear

" The bulk of Canada's troops are deployed in Kandahar province, which is adjacent to Helmand - a part of the country that's largely the domain of British forces.

Canadian troops were involved in at least one significant operation in Helmand in the days leading up to the date of the alleged incident, although there's no evidence of a link between the two.

In mid-October, the Afghan National Army - under the tutelage of Canadian military mentors and backed up by British forces - defended the Helmand capital of Lashkar Gah from a three-pronged attack by hundreds of Taliban militants.

About 30 Canadian mentors accompanied an Afghan army battalion, or kandak, to Helmand on Oct. 16. Afghan Gen. Sher Muhammad Zazai later said Canadians were involved in the fighting.

Afghan and international troops eventually retook the Nad Ali district centre, which had been held by insurgents, after a three-day fight. That battle, which also involved air strikes, ended Oct. 18.

Altogether, Afghan and NATO officials claim that at least 100 Taliban died in the fighting."

 

More details from the Globe and Mail

 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20081231.wafghancan1231/BNStory/International/home

Webgear

M. Spector

Canadian units have operated in Helmand province from time to time. This is mainly done in order to support the British in thier large operations.

I belive Pte Costall was killed in Helmand province in spring of 2006.

Fidel

And where are Steve and his coalition of ReformaTories, rightwing Liberals, and Mike Harris castoffs? AWOL? Who's minding the shop?

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Jingles

Funny how they release this on New Years Eve. Not that they want to bury it or anything. The Canadian Forces are as dedicated to transparency and accountability as the Harper government.

Fidel

You're right, Jingles. Canadians are busy making merry. We'll never notice that there is no one at the helm while Canadians are over there fighting for Crazy George's sake.

Oops, no offence to the very lucid and pleasant George of rabble-babble intended by me. I meant "Crazy George II" aka George Bush, Prescott's grandson, and great-great grandson of Samuel, another prolific warmonger of a long line of warmongering warfiteers

Unionist

Great story:

[url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7805077.stm]
Al-Qaeda 'quotes amateur historian'[/url]

Quote:

An amateur historian believes his website about the British Army in Victorian times is being used as propaganda by groups opposed to Nato's presence in Afghanistan, and may even have been used by al-Qaeda.

The site gives details of battles fought by British forces in the 19th century....

John McKenzie continues to run his website determined to give "accurate and dispassionate" accounts of the battles he describes.

But he's not convinced the right lessons have really been learned and isn't surprised information from his website is being used by those opposed to Nato's involvement.

"It's exactly appropriate to use the account of the first Afghan war to point out the pointlessness of the current operations and the dangers that they run of a similar disaster," he says.

Takes an amateur to understand that the Crusaders will lose. The experts are still gung ho.

His website is at:

http://britishbattles.com

 

 

 

Fidel

And since this one is rigged, too, they should all just quit now and go home.

Jingles

Did you know that in Gaza, little girls aren't allowed to go to school, and women are forced to wait at Israeli checkpoints for hours, and are often denied, for medical care? Did you know that a fanatical and determined enemy targets civilians in order to destroy the democratically elected government of Gaza?

Where, or where are our brave and principled heroes? Shouldn't they be standing up to the F-16s and Apaches of the fascist Israeli regime, protecting women's rights and the right of little girls to attend school?

Where are they? I'll tell you: cheerleading the massacre. The only good Muslim, it would seem to our government, is a dead one. 

I know, I know, Gaza isn't Afghanistan. There is a difference. In Gaza, a starved and defenceless civilian population faces a genocidal assault by a technological superior force. In Afghanistan, we are the technologically superior force doing the killing. So it's all good.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Some death stats for NATO forces in Afghanistan:

• Canada - 32 in 2008, compared with 30 in 2007 and 36 in 2006. Overall total 106 soldiers dead. Plus 360 wounded in action in the past two years. (Overall, 395 Canadians have been diagnosed with PTSD after service in Kandahar.)

• UK - 51 in 2008, compared with 42 in 2007 and 39 in 2006. Overall total 137 dead. Plus 526 wounded in action in the past two years.

• USA - 155 in 2008, the highest annual figure so far. Overall 630 dead.

• Denmark - 12 in 2008, compared with 6 in 2007

• France - 11 in 2008, including 10 killed in August.

[url=Source[/url]">http://www.theherald.co.uk/news/foreign/display.var.2478744.0.UKs_Afghan...

 


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Fidel

Cannon fodder in the phony war on terror. If they only knew the greater cause they've died for

Loretta

I don't know if this story is posted elsewhere but from http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2009/01/02/soldier-charge.html:

Quote:

A captain with the Canadian Forces has been charged in connection with the death of a presumed insurgent in Afghanistan's Helmand province.

Robert Semrau, originally from Pembroke, Ont., was charged with one count of second-degree murder on Wednesday, military officials said Friday in a news release.

Semrau is accused of shooting a man with the intent to kill. The man is alleged to have been unarmed at the time of his death, according to a Canadian Forces press release.

Unionist

He must have accidentally shot some U.S. agent being groomed to infiltrate the insurgents. Otherwise, wouldn't they be giving him a medal?

Fidel

Defense Commitee for Malalai Joya 

Quote:

Did you know that?

Apparently, the U.S. troops are here to fight the Taliban, but on the other hand they are fully supporting the Northern Alliance commanders, who are the main seller of weapons and ammunitions to the Taliban. The U.S. soldiers are innocent, because they have been told that they are bringing us democracy. When I spoke in the U.S. early this year [2007], people who lost loved ones in Afghanistan came to me to hug me and cry, and to say that they understand more and more that the U.S. policy in Afghanistan is a mockery of democracy (6). (Joya)

The worst enemies of the Afghan people who brought Osama bin Laden and slaughtered our people and committed unbelievable crimes against its unfortunate women, are now in power backed by the U.S. government (2). The U.S. is happy with the situation in the country (...). They use the Taliban insurgency as an excuse to stay longer in Afghanistan (...). There is no difference between these poeple and Pinochet, Mussolini, Hitler, so on (1). The propaganda to the world about liberating Afghanistan and women, and fighting against terrorists, are lies (4). (Joya)

It's a phony war

martin dufresne

"Down-to-earth, Christian kid/psychology graduate" Canadian soldier charged with second-degree murder of unarmed Taliban suspect in Afghanistan - hyperlink to Montreal Gazette report.

Harumph

Unionist wrote:

No problem.

Unionist wrote:
1. It's clear now, as suspected by babblers, that troops were kept close to base during the election campaign and its immediate aftermath, to make Harper look good and keep Afghanistan off the political radar.

I'm sure you're more familiar with the sad statistics than I am, Webgear.

Sergeant Prescott Shipway (2nd Princess Pat's) was killed by an IED on September 7. Two days later (September 9), Qari Mohammed Yusuf bragged about having killed a medal recipient, saying they would step up attacks on account of the election campaign.

Listen up. There were no further deaths reported until Corporal McLaren and Private Diplaros were killed by an IED on December 5.

That makes 89 days between consecutive fatalities - the longest such gap since the first fatality of 2007.

The closest runner-up was the 54-day gap between the killing of Cpl. Nathan Hornburg (Sept. 24, 2007) and Cpl. Nicolas Beauchamp and Pte. Michel Lévesque (Nov. 17, 2007).

And now, IED deaths have resumed their usual pace, and then some.

Now I'm not privy to any internal CF commands and tactical thinking - I just observe results. Three possible hypotheses:

1. The Taliban announced they would step up attacks - but they lied, and decided to give Stephen Harper a much-needed respite during the campaign and its aftermath.

2. Canadian troops were struck by sudden brilliance during this 89-day period and figured out how to prevent, detect, and disable IEDs - and promptly forgot again at the beginning of December.

3. Road patrols were radically reduced during that whole period out of fear that the Taliban were telling the truth and that massive IED casualties were in store during and after the election - thus embarrassing SH, the enlisted man's best buddy.

4. Coincidence and sheer good luck.

Well, Webgear, I've concluded that Hypothesis #3 is the most likely one. But I would certainly appreciate your inside knowledge and expertise in providing evidence pointing to any other explanation of what happened.

Now to Conclusion #2:

Unionist wrote:
2. The Canadians, after 7 years in the country and half that time in Kandahar, have no clue and no connection with the locals. They know how to dial-an-air-strike, but they can't monitor the planting of IEDs nor detect them once they're there. It obviously isn't a DND spending priority.

Sorry, Webgear, this one is too obvious to require evidence. You tell me why they keep walking and driving down the road and getting blown to smithereens, if not the clear fact that the insurgents can strike any time and any where they want. Neither informants nor detection technology are adequate to make a dent. Of course, CF lying spokespersons will say, "Yeah, but we detect 10 million IEDs for every one that goes off!" Why do the words "fog of war" spring to mind?

 You're right - you're not privy to CF "commands" or "tactical thinking" and it shows.  Being privy, I can tell you that your hypothesis is junk.  Answer one question and you'll know why: when does the CF rotate majority of its forces in Afghanistan? Hint: one takes place around a month starting with "Jan" or "Feb" and the other takes place around a month starting with "Sep" or "Oct".  But, of course, that couldn't have anything to do with it - it must be the evil white men in the military and government conspiring to keep each other happy.

But what do I know, I'm just the guy going there to kill and maim "innocent people" under the glorious banner of cheaper gasoline and hardcore pornography.  Long live the almighty dollar, down with the proles, blah blah blah. *insert obnoxious, ineffectual placard waiving and foot-stomping here*

 Edit:

As for people speculating about the circumstances surrounding the charges against Rob Semrau, some clarification:

Quote:

 From the CBC:

 http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2009/01/07/soldier-charged.html

On Oct. 19, Semrau's troops — a handful of Canadians and more than 100 Afghan National Army troops — were on patrol when they were ambushed by Taliban insurgents in Helmand, according to a joint statement released Tuesday by defence and prosecution lawyers.

With the help of U.S. air support, Semrau's group was able to gain control, during which time two Taliban fighters were found, one dead, the other severely wounded.

The injured insurgent was wounded too severely for any type of treatment in the field, the statement says. Afghan soldiers took away his rifle.

Semrau was left alone with the injured man and two shots were heard, according to the statement. The statement claims an unnamed witness interviewed by military investigators will testify he saw Semrau shoot the man. The body was left behind and not recovered.

Payam Akhavan, a law professor at McGill University, said in other wars, the offence Semrau is accused of would be considered a war crime because soldiers do not have the right under international law to kill wounded combatants or combatants who have laid down their arms.

Taliban fighters are not recognized as soldiers of an enemy army. They are considered insurgents, and therefore not afforded the same protection.

Even if Semrau had been charged with a war crime, he would face the same sentence — life in prison, with no chance of parole for ten years.

Having known him quite well, I'm about as likely to believe that he shot someone in cold blood as I am to believe that he flew to the moon on stardust.

Being "too severely injured" to receive field treatment means about one thing: you're fatally wounded.  Even traumatic amputations can receive field treatment but something like getting split in half at the waist by the cannon on an Apache is going to render field treatment useless. 

Unionist

Harumph wrote:

Having known him quite well, I'm about as likely to believe that he shot someone in cold blood as I am to believe that he flew to the moon on stardust.

Sorry, when dealing with foreign invaders on Afghan soil, we operate on a reverse onus principle. He's guilty of war crimes against the Afghan people. As for this particular allegation, I'm quite sure the Harper-loving CF will give him every opportunity, at taxpayers' expense, to "prove" his innocence.

Anyway, your buddy, alleged by an eye-witness to have cold-bloodedly murdered a wounded Afghan, has already been released on bail! Must be nice, murdering on behalf of your flag.

Meanwhile, our troops continue to get [url=blown">http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090107.wafghan_ieds... up by IEDs[/url]:

Quote:
Taliban-planted roadside bombs, which have killed 10 Canadian
soldiers in the past five weeks, have grown far more sophisticated this
winter, Canadian military officials say.

Trooper Brian Good, killed Wednesday morning north of Kandahar city,
became Canada's first war casualty of 2009 from an improvised explosive
device.

Scores more Afghan police, army and civilians have been killed and
maimed by the bombs, which insurgents plant on busy routes, as well as
in ditches and culverts lining the roads.

Winter is traditionally a period when fighting dies down in the Afghan
countryside as fighters leave the country for Pakistan. Not so this
year.

I think it's time to extend the mission again. We'll wear the scumbags down. We'll exhaust their supply of IEDs. Liberty shall prevail!

 

Slumberjack

Unionist wrote:
Sorry, when dealing with foreign invaders on Afghan soil, we operate on a reverse onus principle. He's guilty of war crimes against the Afghan people. As for this particular allegation....

Anyway, your buddy, alleged by an eye-witness to have cold-bloodedly murdered a wounded Afghan, has already been released on bail! Must be nice, murdering on behalf of your flag.

We do?  He isn't charged with the war crime of being an invader, but if he were, I suppose the evidence is certainly overwhelming.  As to the other count, 2nd degree murder, and your reverse onus 'principle,' he is innocent until proven guilty.   There is ample precedent for murder suspects to be released on bail while awaiting trial in Canada.

Unionist

Slumberjack wrote:

There is ample precedent for murder suspects to be released on bail while awaiting trial in Canada.

Hi there, SJ!

Never mind "ample". Give me one single example of a murder suspect, ratted out by an eye-witness, released on bail.

This characters' buddies have started numerous Facebook support groups. The military will treat him with kid gloves (as it is already doing). But that doesn't bother me - because, as you suggest, it's the war crimes overall that are far more grave than one character losing it and pumping some poor Afghan full of lead. It's the CF spokespersons, and the sluttish media, bragging about how many "insurgents" (read: Afghan patriots and civilians and whoever) have been killed in some "operation". That's the Big Crime here, and no one is even swearing out a complaint.

Slumberjack

Unionist wrote:
Hi there, SJ! Never mind "ample". Give me one single example of a murder suspect, ratted out by an eye-witness, released on bail.

Eye witnessess, exhibits, etc all form part of the evidence, produced at trial.  The trial hasn't occurred yet.  What is weighed is risk to the public, flight risk, things of that nature.   A simple google search will point to many cases where suspects have been released on bail, regardless of the evidence.  As for kid gloves...the military justice system does have its faults, although I've never heard it being referred to as that:

Chief Military Judge Site

Webgear

Unionist

There are plenty of examples of murder suspects out on bail.

 

http://www.cbc.ca/news/story/2000/03/23/whitebear000323.html

The man accused of a weekend murder at the White Bear Indian Reserve has been released on bail. 20 year-old Ryan Miller is accused of second degree murder He was charged following the death of 22-year-old William Joseph Kakakaway on Sunday.


http://www.leaderpost.com/Teen+murder+suspects+bail/1114273/story.html
Two young men charged with murder chatted and laughed as they walked into a Regina courtroom for a bail hearing on Christmas Eve.

The teens were likely feeling even happier a few hours later, when Judge Clifford Toth granted their release from custody.

The teens, both aged 15, are accused of killing 69-year-old Joseph Victor Perrault, whose body was found in a vacant lot in the 1400 block of Garnet Street on the morning of Dec. 7.

http://winnipeg.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20081216/wpg_anderson_ve...

The man who shot two Winnipeg police officers during a drug raid in 2006 is out on bail after being convicted of attempted murder Wednesday.

Daniell Ian Anderson was also been found guilty of discharging a firearm with the intent to wound an officer.

http://www.citynews.ca/news/news_1800.aspx

One of the suspects in the infamous Boxing Day shootout that claimed the life of 15-year-old Jane Creba and wounded six others walked out of court a free man on Thursday after making bail.


The conditions of Andrew Smith's release remain under a publication ban, but it can be revealed that this is the third time he's been let out on bail this year. The first two incidents were not related to the charges he faces for the Boxing Day shootout at Yonge and Dundas.

Smith is the second person charged with manslaughter in connection with the death of Creba to be released.

A 17-year-old, whose identity is protected by the Youth Criminal Justice Act, was also allowed to walk for a fee last Friday.

 

Unionist

Webgear wrote:

Unionist

There are plenty of examples of murder suspects out on bail.

Webgear, you know that I respect your views, and I appreciate your researching this reply. But I really seriously asked for any examples of release on bail where an eye-witness has given a statement stating the person committed a cold-blooded murder. Do any of your examples fit that bill?

And no, Slumberjack, I understand the difference between an eye-witness account used to lay charges and a witness giving evidence in court. But I'm not the one who told the media there was an eye-witness who alleged seeing this character murder a wounded Afghan. That was the military that released that information. Given such an accusation, the accused must remain incarcerated to protect the public.

Webgear

Unionist

I do not beleive that he should be on bail however those are the laws of Canada.

 

Unionist

SJ, you just don't get it. We're talking about BAIL, not guilt. When there is overwhelming prima facie evidence of cold-blooded murder, conditional release pending trial is unheard of. Have a look at Webgear's examples and you'll see what I mean. Releasing this Captain in the face of eye-witness allegations of murder is a pathetic farce. It could never happen in a civilian situation.

Slumberjack

Unionist wrote:
And no, Slumberjack, I understand the difference between an eye-witness account used to lay charges and a witness giving evidence in court. But I'm not the one who told the media there was an eye-witness who alleged seeing this character murder a wounded Afghan. That was the military that released that information. Given such an accusation, the accused must remain incarcerated to protect the public.

Regardless, eye witness, murder weapon, bloody gloves, brain speckled uniform, etc...whatever it is they have, certainly is used to form the basis for the charge, and then the evidence is bought to trial.  As of right now, he is innocent of the charges.  Presumed innocence is the key here, along with the judges view, based upon defence and prosecution statements, on they're being a likelyhood of further risk to the public.  One's views on the war overall, or mob mentality, does not influence the decision.

When deliberating charges that are applicable under the criminal code, Canadian military judges use the precedents from civilian courts, provincial or supreme court decisions, and Court Martial appeal court rulings.  It wasn't always the case that they did so, but the charter slowly made inroads into the military justice system over the past two decades.  They're still having problems dealing with it's applicability and implications.

Slumberjack

Unionist wrote:
SJ, you just don't get it. We're talking about BAIL, not guilt. When there is overwhelming prima facie evidence of cold-blooded murder, conditional release pending trial is unheard of. Have a look at Webgear's examples and you'll see what I mean. Releasing this Captain in the face of eye-witness allegations of murder is a pathetic farce. It could never happen in a civilian situation.

It is you who doesn't get the basic concept of judicial fairness towards an accused who could be facing a long time in prison.  A bail hearing is not a trial.  It is a deliberation to determine if the accused should remain in custody, or be released with conditions, based on any previous convictions for the same offence, the risk that the accused may flee justice, and further risk to the public..period.  It has nothing to do with the amount of evidence.  The charges are based on the gathering of evidence, but the evidence has not been heard by the court at this stage.

Jingles

I love the CBC:

Quote:
Taliban fighters are not recognized as soldiers of an enemy army. They
are considered insurgents, and therefore not afforded the same
protection.

Quote:
[url=http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/7c4d08d9b287a42141256739003e636b/fe20c3d903c... II. Wounded and Sick[/url]

Art. 12. Members of the armed forces and other
persons mentioned in the following Article, who are wounded or sick,
shall be respected and protected in all circumstances.

They shall be treated humanely and cared for by the
Party to the conflict in whose power they may be, without any adverse
distinction founded on sex, race, nationality, religion, political
opinions, or any other similar criteria. Any attempts upon their lives,
or violence to their persons, shall be strictly prohibited; in
particular, they shall not be murdered or exterminated, subjected to
torture or to biological experiments; they shall not wilfully be left
without medical assistance and care, nor shall conditions exposing them
to contagion or infection be created.

Quote:
Art. 13. The present Convention shall apply to the wounded and sick belonging to the following categories:

(1) Members of the armed forces of a Party to the
conflict, as well as members of militias or volunteer corps forming
part of such armed forces.
(2) Members of other militias and members of other
volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements,
belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their
own territory, even if this territory is occupied, provided that such
militias or volunteer corps, including such organized resistance
movements, fulfil the following conditions:
(a) that of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;
(b) that of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance;
(c) that of carrying arms openly;
(d) that of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.
(3) Members of regular armed forces who profess
allegiance to a Government or an authority not recognized by the
Detaining Power.

(4) Persons who accompany the armed forces without
actually being members thereof, such as civil members of military
aircraft crews, war correspondents, supply contractors, members of
labour units or of services responsible for the welfare of the armed
forces, provided that they have received authorization from the armed
forces which they accompany.
(5) Members of crews, including masters, pilots and
apprentices, of the merchant marine and the crews of civil aircraft of
the Parties to the conflict, who do not benefit by more favourable
treatment under any other provisions in international law.
(6) Inhabitants of a non-occupied territory, who on
the approach of the enemy, spontaneously take up arms to resist the
invading forces, without having had time to form themselves into
regular armed units, provided they carry arms openly and respect the
laws and customs of war.

The Ceeb just can't help itself in cheerleading crimes against humanity.

 

Slumberjack

Hate the ceeb.

Unionist

Slumberjack wrote:

It has nothing to do with the amount of evidence.

I believe instead of making things up, it's important to [url=[=red]look">http://ca.vlex.com/vid/37670435][b]look things up[/url]:

Quote:
In 1999, a woman's body was found with 37 wounds to her hands,
forearms, shoulder, neck and face. Her assailant had tried to cut off
her head. The murder caused significant public concern and a general
fear that a killer was at large. Based on compelling evidence linking
the accused to the crime, he was charged with first degree murder. He
applied for bail. The bail judge held that pre-trial detention was not
necessary "to ensure . . . attendance in court" nor for the "safety of
the public" (s. 515(10)(a) and (b) of the Criminal Code). He denied
bail, however, under s. 515(10)(c) in order "to maintain confidence in
the administration of justice" in view of the highly charged aftermath
of the murder, the strong evidence implicating the accused, and the
other factors referred to in para. (c). A superior court judge
dismissed the accused's habeas corpus application challenging the
constitutionality of s. 515(10)(c). The Court of Appeal affirmed the
decision.

So, the strength of the evidence appears to be a factor in the view of the Supreme Court of Canada, if not in yours.

Oh, by the way, you may want to go straight to the text of the Criminal Code of Canada:

Quote:

(10)
For the purposes of this section, the detention of an accused in
custody is justified only on one or more of the following grounds:

(a) where the detention is necessary to ensure his or her attendance in court in order to be dealt with according to law;

(b)
where the detention is necessary for the protection or safety of the
public, including any victim of or witness to the offence, having
regard to all the circumstances including any substantial likelihood
that the accused will, if released from custody, commit a criminal
offence or interfere with the administration of justice; and

(c)
on any other just cause being shown and, without limiting the
generality of the foregoing, where the detention is necessary in order
to maintain confidence in the administration of justice, having regard
to all the circumstances, including the apparent strength of the
prosecution’s case, the gravity of the nature of the offence, the
circumstances surrounding its commission and the potential for a
lengthy term of imprisonment
.

Well whaddya know, the Supreme Court wasn't wrong - the law does care how strong the case apparently is (and this is long before any evidence is presented at trial). And it does care if the nature of the offence is grave, and if there's a potential for a "lengthy term of imprisonment".

Gee whiz, every single factor seems to fit the good Captain's "alleged" crime - but the military judge decided to let his comrade go free.

 

 

Jingles

The eyewitness is probably an Afghan. Since everyone knows they are untrustworthy, their "evidence" is only worth about, say 1/6th a proper Christian man.

That's the only reason I can think of why this scumbag walks free.

Slumberjack

Jingles wrote:
The eyewitness is probably an Afghan. Since everyone knows they are untrustworthy, their "evidence" is only worth about, say 1/6th a proper Christian man. That's the only reason I can think of why this scumbag walks free.

Probably?....Only reason you could think of?....about 1/6th?.......

Not much to go on when deciding upon the denial of ones liberty in a criminal proceeding.

Slumberjack

Unionist wrote:

....So, the strength of the evidence appears to be a factor in the view of the Supreme Court of Canada, if not in yours......Gee whiz, every single factor seems to fit the good Captain's "alleged" crime - but the military judge decided to let his comrade go free.

We should be thankful then, that the justice system works better when dealing with solid reasoning, instead of the ranting of twits like yourself.

"Detention is justified only if deemed necessary on one or more of the following grounds:

  • - to ensure that the accused attends court; e.g., if the accused has a history of failing to attend court or abide by other court orders

  • - to protect the public; e.g., an accused could be detained if he has a criminal record for similar offences; in the case of an assault or threatening charge, a history of violence against the same complainant works in favor of detention

  • - to maintain confidence in the administration of justice; the court will consider the apparent strength of the prosecution's case, the gravity of the offence, the circumstances surrounding its commission and the potential for a lengthy jail term"  Bail and Release From Custody

And yes, it does help to look things up.  The denial of bail decision in your first example from 1999 was appealed to the SCC, and the appeal was allowed.  It was the court of appeal that affirmed the decision, and subsequently overturned by the Supreme Court on appeal.  Do you know the difference between the court of appeal and the supreme court?

David Scott Hall v. Her Majesty The Queen 

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